The Potsdam Quartet at the Jermyn Street Theatre

The Potsdam Quartet by David Pinner Directed by Anthony BiggsOct – Nov 2013Jermyn Street Theatre As they headed to the Potsdam Conference with Stalin in July 1945, the most important fact that faced Churchill and Truman was the frustratingly unalterable presence of four times as many Soviet troops in Europe as there were British and American forces. Plus, the Soviets …

The Dumb Waiter at The Print Room

The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter Directed by Jamie Glover Oct -Nov  2013 The Print Room The Dumb Waiter was written in the summer 1957, when it was one of the first three plays that came in quick succession from Harold Pinter, the other two being The Room and The Birthday Party. The outraged reception that greeted The Birthday Party …

The Last Yankee at The Print Room

The Last Yankee by Arthur Miller Directed by Cathal ClearySept – Oct 2013The Print Room The Last Yankee began life as a twenty-minute piece about two men waiting in the visitors’ room of a large state mental hospital in a nice New England town. It featured in a one-act play festival at the New York Ensemble Theatre in 1991, and …

Tutto Bene, Mamma? at The Print Room

Tutto Bene, Mamma? adapted by April de Angelisfrom play by Gloria Mina Directed by Ewan MarshallJune-July 2013The Print Room There are experimental plays set in the dark whose darkness forms an integral part of their playwrights’ first conceptions. Peter Shaffer’s 1965 farce Black Comedy opens in darkness but outrageously stages its performed blackouts in light. Samuel Beckett did not want …

On Approval at the Jermyn Street Theatre

On Approval by Frederick Lonsdale Directed by Anthony BiggsApril 2013Jermyn Street Theatre In the 1920s, especially after his 1923 production Aren’t We All?, Frederick Lonsdale could walk the streets of London and New York assured that his attention would be sought and courted just about everywhere that mattered to him. The finest hotels and restaurants lay at his feet. Newspapermen …

Molly Sweeney at The Print Room

Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel Directed by Abigail GrahamMarch-April 2013The Print Room In the summer of 1992, the man widely considered Ireland’s greatest living playwright learned that he had cataracts in his right eye, and, a year later, Brian Friel underwent two operations to have the cataracts removed. In between the diagnosis and procedural cures, Friel conceived, researched and wrote …

The Hairy Ape and the Pursuit to Belong by Eugene O’Neill

Theatre & Performance Guide and Guru 6 Summer 2012:  36-39 The brooding, never-satisfied Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) hardly ever went to the theatre. Every five years or so he would visit some European country and see one of his plays in a language he could not understand. But he did not bother seeing his plays in British or American theatres as …

Pepper’s Ghost – A Brief History

Toujours et Près de Moi Directed by Patrick Eakin YoungOpera Erratica, combining holograms with Renaissance madrigals,May 2012The Print Room The Victorians loved ghosts. Their grandparents had relished the terror of 1790s “gothic entertainments” where, by means of magic lanterns, images of ghosts and skeletons had flitted above them and left the more delicate ladies fainting. Then came writers like Charles …

Uncle Vanya at The Print Room

Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov Directed by Lucy BaileyMarch-April, July 2012The Print Room First performed in 1899 and subtitled Scenes from a Country Life, Uncle Vanya is a revision of an unsuccessful play produced ten years earlier, Wood Demon, in which the wild spirits of Slavic folklore are harnessed to evoke the magic of the woods. Chekhov wrote to a …

Deconstructing Tennessee Williams

Theatre & Performance Guide and Guru 3 August 2011:  18-19 After a wait of 27 years, Tennessee Williams’ darkly comic Kingdom of Earth (1968) has finally been produced again in London, at Lucy Bailey and Anda Winters’ new 80-seat theatre, the Print Room.  In 1984 Hampstead Theatre mounted the only previous London production of this play about a battle for …